Photos: Alison Conklin
Jessica and Fred sought an indoor venue with a garden-like feel. "We originally wanted an outdoor wedding but didn't want to risk inclement weather," says the bride. The couple was delighted to discover that the Morris House Hotel fit their vision perfectly. Jessica and Fred exchanged vows beneath a translucent canopy erected in the hotel's garden. The chuppah was adorned with curly willow branches and a variety of pink and white flowers. Chandeliers cast a magical glow over the ceremony space. Guests dined under the tent on a menu of filet mignon, tuna, and chicken provided by Jeffrey A. Miller Catering. "Sharing our first meal as husband and wife, surrounded by our families, melted my heart," says Jessica.
Follow the jump to see more from Jessica and Fred's wedding, and visit our Real Weddings page to find other great style ideas.
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In the Fall/Winter 2011 issue of Brides Philadelphia and Brides South Jersey, we announced the winners of our first-ever Editor's Choice Awards.
It's a way for the editorial staff and me to officially recognize the amazing, forward-thinking, art-creating, call-returning, trend-making wedding vendors who inspire and delight us every time we craft an issue of our magazine. And, most importantly, we're excited to share this winning list with all of you—it's a great place to start assembling your dream team. —Julie Raimondi
See the full list of winners after the jump.
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One of our favorite wedding coordinators and event designers, Tina LaMorte of Oh So Fabulous! in New Jersey, was asked by Philadelphia's Action 6 News to create decor ideas for a royal-inspired wedding celebration at the Wedding Shoppe in Wayne, PA. With the help of Ciao Bella Floral Styling (flowers), Cloth Connection (linens), Party Rental Ltd. (rentals), Elle Ette Designs (stationery), and Laura Hooper Calligraphy (calligraphy), Tina and her team created these gorgeous tablescapes. I think the lush white floral arrangements are spot on, as are the luxurious table linens (love the ever-so-British tweed!). And those napkin rings featuring a replica of Kate's sapphire engagement ring are pretty darn adorable. For more ideas to throw your own royal wedding party, visit our Royal Wedding Index. —Kim Forrest, Brides New Jersey
Photo: Courtesy of Arts Ballroom
Philly brides: If you're looking for a glamorous wedding venue with Art Deco touches, check out the brand-new Arts Ballroom. Located in Center City, just off the Avenue of the Arts, this 1920s Art Deco-inspired building includes the two-story Grand Hall (pictured), as well as the main Ballroom, which is adorned with sparkling chandeliers, stately columns, and a grand staircase. The Ballroom can accommodate 160 guests, while the Grand Hall holds up to 250. All catering is provided by Stephen Starr Events. To schedule a tour, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 267-886-1487. —Mary Beth Somich, Editorial Intern, Brides Philadelphia
Photo: Courtesy of Whipped Bakeshop
How gorgeous is this ombré wedding cake by Whipped Bakeshop
in Philadelphia? The shaded effect is created using meringue buttercream that's been tinted in varying shades of lavender, which gives the cake a lovely painterly quality. Plus, I love the extra height of the top and bottom tiers—the cake layers are double-stacked, which adds a touch of drama to this very modern cake. —Heather Lee
See more ombré wedding style ideas here, as well as more creative wedding cake ideas in our Cakes Gallery. Also, find a wedding cake designer near you in our local resource guide.
Photos: Courtesy of Nicole Miller
Philly and South Jersey brides: This Saturday, March 5, the Hyatt at The Bellevue will host "The Bellevue Gets Engaged," a wedding event featuring many of the area's top wedding vendors, from noon to 4 p.m. See the gorgeous ballroom in person—it's one of our favorites!—and take in a fashion show featuring the latest wedding gowns by Nicole Miller. You'll also enjoy cocktails and hors d'oeuvres catered by the hotel's XIX Restaurant, listen to the sounds of EBE Entertainment, and meet and greet local wedding photographers, florists, cake designers, and other vendors who will offer helpful tips and advice on the wedding planning process. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased here. —Carly Totten, Editorial Intern, Brides Philadelphia and Brides South Jersey
See more of the newest Nicole Miller dresses in our Wedding Dresses Gallery.
Photos: Monika Broz and Tanya Salazar
Michele and Rye planned their nuptials in just one month. "Rye is a painter and has works on display at a local art gallery," says Michele. "I joked with the owner about having our reception there, and he looked at me for a solid 20 seconds then said, 'Sure.' He's a man of many words." Since Michele owns a catering company, her bouquet was made up of fresh vegetables and silver spoons. The invitation poster was designed by the bride's brother. 275 guests celebrated in a cocktail party-style reception at the New Hope Arts Center. The bride's friend Morrie Breyer, an interior designer, transformed the site by draping aisle runners through ceiling rafters. On display at the gallery was a large art installation that was actually a clock programmed to run backward once it struck midnight. "It was as if we all got younger," says Michele. "We wanted our wedding to be a New Year's Eve party our guests would want to come to over and over again—and they do! We can't wait for our one-year anniversary," says Michele. See more from this couple's wedding here.
Courtesy of Anais Collezioni
The St. Pucchi collection is known for jaw-dropping, couture-inspired wedding dresses. So we were, of course, delighted to hear about a new wedding gown line designed by Rani and her two sons that maintains St. Pucchi's grand, whimsical style, but retails for under $2,000. Called Anais Collezioni, the collection features fashion-forward detailing and modern silhouettes. I'm particularly in love with the dress pictured above—the gold sash accentuates the natural waist, and the silhouette is so flattering. The gowns are already available at stores in 27 states, so visit Anais Collezioni's website for more information on where to find these gorgeous gowns. And don't forget to head over to our dress gallery to see hundreds of amazing wedding dresses.—Kim Forrest
Photo: Conde Nast Digital Studio
Looking to save big on a gown from the Priscilla of Boston group (this includes the labels Melissa Sweet, Reverie by Melissa Sweet, Vineyard Collection, Platinum for Priscilla of Boston, and Jewel by Priscilla of Boston)? All Priscilla of Boston salons nationwide are hosting their annual sample sale tomorrow, December 17th, starting at 8 a.m. You'll find amazing deals on gowns—up to 75 percent off retail price. And bridesmaid dresses will be priced starting at $34.99—so bring your friends! Visit Priscilla of Boston's website for more information, and check out our dress gallery to do some pre-shopping! —Kim Forrest
Photo: Courtesy of Blue Butterfly Design
I recently spotted these adorable cake toppers on Etsy and just had to share. Crafter Blue Butterfly Design creates custom wedding cake toppers inspired by Robert Indiana's iconic Love sculpture. Each topper is made to order, so it can be customized to match your wedding colors. View more toppers by Blue Butterfly Designs here. —Allison Bean
Visit our Wedding Cakes Gallery for more ideas and inspiration.
Photos: Courtesy of Maptote
We've been singing Maptote's praises for a few years now. We love the idea of using these handy cotton totes as a "welcome basket" for your wedding guests. Not only are they easier pack than a traditional basket, but they help your out-of-town guests get a feel for your city. Maptote's lineup now includes over 40 different locations, including Boston, Philadelphia, and Miami (pictured).
Now through December 12th, receive 15% off all Maptote products, including their new (adorable) mini totes.
Just enter the code HOLIDAY in the 'apply promo code window' before you check out.
For more inspiration, browse all of our welcome basket ideas here. —Allison Bean
Courtesy of The Lovesick Expo
Starting to plan a more unique, indie-style wedding but not sure where to begin? Check out Lovesick, "a wedding expo for the cool at heart," taking place at the World Cafe Live in Philadelphia this January. The organizers of the event are aiming to feature a diverse group of Philly-area wedding vendors and some of our favorites will be participating, including custom designers from Paris Chic Brides and the hip DJs of Roots & Groove Entertainment. Expect plenty of eco-friendly and unexpected wedding ideas while enjoying live music, giveaways, and samples.
The Lovesick Expo will take place on January 9, 2011, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; tickets are just $6.50 if you preorder them online. And while you're there, be sure to take a look around World Cafe Live—it's a great off-the-beaten-path reception venue. Need convincing? See one of our favorite real weddings held there. —Caitlin Palmer, Editorial Intern, Brides Philadelphia
Just engaged? Start here.
Photos: Courtesy of Nicole Miller
Philly brides: This Black Friday, skip the lines at the mall and head to the Nicole Miller boutique in Manayunk for huge discounts on the designer's bridal gowns. You'll save 50 to 75 percent off her modern, sleek dresses; the sale also applies to bridesmaid gowns and mother of the bride dresses. The sale is from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on November 26; the store is located at 4249 Main Street in Philadelphia. For more information, contact Samantha Sciolla at 215-930-0307 (x301) or email@example.com. —Heather Lee, Brides Philadelphia
Also, see the newest Nicole Miller dresses in our more bouquet and boutonniere ideas in our New Wedding Dresses Gallery.
Photos: Jessica Hui
We wanted to share some photographs from a lovely bridal shower held in Egg Harbor Township, NJ. The bride, Maria Sothern, was surprised by her bridesmaids and family members with a cupcake-themed party held at the home of the bride's cousin. The groom Stephen Ockenhouse escorted his bride to the celebration, which featured an assortment of hors d'oeuvres and sweets. Among the many gifts Maria received was a customized serving platter from her maid of honor depicting an illustration of the wedding party. "One of the most memorable moments of the afternoon was seeing my grand mom there" says Maria. "She's 85 years old and originally was not going to be able to attend, so seeing her there was a true surprise." —Heather Lee
Catering: Cindy's Catering, Egg Harbor Township, (609) 927-5382
Desserts: Schenk's Family Bakery, Philadelphia
Photography: Jessica Hui
Also, see more creative shower ideas in our Showers & Parties Index.
Photos: Alison Conklin
Jessica and Rob met in 2002, during a German class they took their sophomore year of college. "I'd begun to unwrap a peanut butter and jelly sandwich when Rob said, 'You're not really going to eat that in front of me, are you?' " Jessica recalls. "I shared half with him, and we've been together ever since." Their wedding venue was an easy choice: the German Society of Pennsylvania. "We'd gone to events there together and wanted our guests to experience Philadelphia's German history," Jessica says. The bride carried a bouquet of peonies, lilacs, and roses and wore a dress by Vineyard Collection. The escort cards listed each guest's table and seat assignment, and were tied to miniature pinecones. The couple and their 130 guests sat at four long tables bearing the names of favorite cities in German-speaking countries. For dessert, guests enjoyed a variety of cupcakes from Cupcakes Gourmet. The cake was topped with a pair of birds the bride had crafted. "I used wire to make glasses like Rob's, and netting for a birdcage veil like mine," she says. See more photos from this couple's wedding here.
Get more style ideas for winter weddings here.